Avoid The Appearance Of Evil – VAYESHEV

Vayeshev2

D’VAR TORAH
VAYESHEV – AND HE SETTLED
BERESHIT (GENESIS) 37.1-40.23

Avoid The Appearance Of Evil

• Bereshit / Genesis 37:1 – 40:23
• Amos /Amos 2:6 – 3:8
• Mattityahu / Matthew 1:1-6

Bereshit {39:6} He left all that he had in Yoseph’s (Joseph’s) hand. He did not concern himself with anything, except for the food which he ate. Yoseph was handsome, and well-favored. {39:7} It happened after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes on Yoseph; and she said, “Lie with me.”{39:8} But he refused, and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has put all that he has into my hand. {39:9} He is not greater in this house than I, neither has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and chat’at (sin) against G-D?”{39:10} It happened that as she spoke to Yoseph day by day, that he did not listen to her, to lie by her, or to be with her. {39:11} It happened about this time, that he went into the house to do his work, and there were none of the men of the house inside. {39:12} She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” He left his garment in her hand, and ran outside. {39:13} It happened, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had run outside, {39:14} that she called to the men of her house, and spoke to them, saying, “Behold, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice. {39:15} It happened, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and ran outside.”
There is so much we can learn from the story of Yoseph. Volumes can be written on it. However, the passages that I have focused in on teach a very important principle. In studying these verses I have taken this principle and have incorporated it into both my personal and professional life. Yoseph, we are aware, was a single man; however, this principle applies to single woman, married men and married woman as well.
Potiphar’s wife had her eyes on Yoseph. He was young, he was handsome and he was a slave. Certainly she thought that she would be able to seduce him without too much effort. Most men would have easily given in to this woman’s advances, but not so with Yoseph, he answered to a higher authority. Is that what got Yoseph into trouble, his not giving in to his boss’s wife? Certainly when we consider the events leading up to accusations she made against him we could come to that conclusion. But was it his running out on Potiphar’s wife that got him into trouble or was that only a symptom of the problem?
Tesolonilim Alef (1Thessalonians) {5:22} Abstain from all appearance of evil.
This verse explains the cause of Yoseph’s problem. He had grown so familiar with being in Potiphar’s home that he became complacent about being there when he was alone in the house with Mrs. Potiphar.
We know from the Scripture passages above that Mrs Potiphar made advances over and over again to Yoseph, so he was certainly aware of her intentions. Why then would he risk being alone with her in the house? Had Yoseph not allowed himself to be alone in the house with this woman he would have not found himself in a compromising position. Granted HaShem works all things out for our good but perhaps two years in prison could have been avoided while still allowing G-d to achieve the final chapter of this story.
And so the principle we can gain from this story and apply to our own lives is; never put yourself into a possibly compromising position by being alone with a woman/man who is not your wife/husband, anywhere. This includes a car! As I said, I have applied this principle to both my personal and professional life and it has served me well. I have even gone further and will never counsel a woman alone in my office. As well I must add that I also avoid being alone with a man I do not know and certainly I avoid being alone with a child. We need to avoid the appearance of evil and we need to protect ourselves from the possible evil designs of other people and HaSatan (Satan).

Less Than We Deserve – VAYISHLACH

Vayishlach

D’VAR TORAH
VAYISHLACH – AND HE SENT
BERESHIT (GENESIS) 32.4-36.43

Less Than We Deserve

• Bereshit / Genesis 32:4 – 36:43
• Ovadia / Obadiah 1:1-21
• Ivrim / Hebrews 11:11-20

Bereshit {32:24} Ya’acov (Jacob) was left alone, and wrestled with an ish (man) there until the breaking of the day. {32:25} When he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Ya’acov’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled. {32:26} The ish said, “Let me go, for the day breaks.” Ya’acov said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” {32:27} He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Ya’acov.” {32:28} He said, “Your name will no longer be called ‘Ya’acov,’ but, ‘Yisrael,’ for you have fought with G-D and with men, and have prevailed.”
As this Parasha opens we read about Ya’acov sending out messengers to his brother Esav with idea of impressing him by his wealth. To me, this is evidence that Ya’acov still feared his brother. Further proof of his fear is revealed, when we read that after finding out that his brother was coming to meet him with four hundred men, he went into panic mode and divided his company into two camps. Subsequently, Ya’acov’s fear causes him to question G-d and the promises He had made to him. Finally, Ya’acov takes matters into his own hands and attempts to bribe his way out of trouble by sending his brother waves of gifts.
It is amazing how debilitating fear can be. It clouds our judgement and causes us to do things we might normally not do. Ya’acov had been running a way all his life; first from his brother, then from his father-in-law and then once again from his brother. I would be tempted to say that Ya’acov may have had a problem with confrontation. Most people who have this problem and prefer to run then to confront. We pick up our commentary where Ya’acov before learning how to confront man had to learn how to confront G-d.
Ya’acov had always wrestled with man and failed. However, his problem was not with man it was with G-d. HaShem had chosen him to be the heir of the promises given to his fathers and if he was going to succeed as the heir he had to learn how to lean on G-d; hence the divine confrontation.
In the opening of this story we are told that Ya’acov wrestled with a man. However, it did not take long for him to realize that his opponent was no mere man; he was wrestling with G-d. Standing his ground and fighting was a totally new experience for Ya’acov, he never stood and fought, he much preferred to run. Not this time, however. Obviously, Ya’acov had enough of running; this time he was going to stand his ground and fight.
For Ya’acov to become the true heir of the promises he needed to take hold of G-d and not let go, he need to stop relying on himself and his own wits and start relying of G-d and that is exactly what happened. Ya’acov refused to let go of G-d until He blessed him. Yes, Ya’acov got his blessing, but more then that he finally stopped running and put his trust in HaShem. As a result of this victory in his life Ya’acov’s name was changed and he was blessed by G-d.
What was Ya’acov’s blessing? He was blessed with prevailing with G-d and man. In other words, whereas before he was a self centered man Ya’acov became a G-d centered man. However, you cannot run from G-d for so many years and expect there to be no consequences.
Bereshit {32:25} When He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Ya’acov’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled.
Ya’acov had to live with this consequence for the rest of his life. It was a constant reminder of his past disobedience.
We would do well to take a lesson from Ya’acov. We can not allow fear to consume us and cloud our judgement. We can not run from confrontation but must learn how to confront and deal with difficult situations in our lives. Most of all if we want to prevail with G-d and man we must cling to HaShem and refuse to let Him go until He blesses us. As with Ya’acov we have a past and as a result consequences. Thankfully HaShem is merciful and always give us less then we deserve.

Time Flies When You Are In Love

Hashuvah2

D’VAR TORAH

VAYETZE – AND HE WENT OUT

BERESHIT (GENESIS) 28.10-32.3

  • Bereshit / Genesis 28:10-32:2
  • Hoshea / Hosea 3:6-14:10
  • Yochanan / John 1:19-51

 

Bereshit {29:16} Lavan had two daughters. The name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. {29:17} Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful and well favored. {29:18} Ya’akov (Jacob) loved Rachel. He said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter.” {29:19} Lavan said, “It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” {29:20} Ya’akov served seven years for Rachel. They seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her.

Have you ever noticed that when you love doing something, even if it is hard work, it seems easy? Also when you love your job, the day just seems to fly by. Compare that to a boring job, one that you just can not get into; for a job like that the day just seems to drag on and quitting time can not come fast enough.

My wife and I, as of this writing, have been married one month shy of twenty two years. As with all marriages we have had our challenges but because of the love we have for each other the years seem to have just flown by.

Every week here at Congregation Melech Yisrael, at both our Erev Shabbat and Shabbat services, we recite the liturgical prayer: “V’ahav’ta et Ad-nai Elohecha, b’chal l’vav’ch uv’chal naf’sh’cha uv’chal m’odecha (And you shall love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources). From what we know about how time flies when we love something, we can appreciate that loving HaShem is very significant.

I have been a Believer in Yeshua HaMashiach for more than thirty years and because of my love for HaShem those years seem to have passed like the blink of an eye. This is significant when we consider how important it is for us to stay focused on a walk of righteousness. If it felt like our relationship with the L-rd was dragging, just think how difficult it would be for us to persevere in our walk and in our relationship with Him.

There is yet another thing I would like us to notice from our story of Ya’acov and Rachel. Even though Ya’acov was fooled and disappointed by his father-in-law Laban, he did not give up on his love for Rachel; in stead he gladly worked another seven years for her hand in marriage.

Time and time again I have come across people, Believers, who after being disappointed because their prayers were not answered or because they felt abandoned by G-d, fall away from serving Him or completely backslide into their old life. Sadly, this is only an indication of their lack of true love for HaShem.

I truly hope that this can not be said of you and that your love for HaShem is so strong that no matter what happens in your life your love for Him remains constant and the days and years that you spend with Him just feel like they are flying by.

Mizmor (Psalm) {119:32} I shall run the way of Your commandments, for You will enlarge my heart. {119:33} Teach me, HaShem, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. {119:34} Give me understanding, that I may observe Your Torah and keep it with all my heart. {119:35} Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. {119:36} Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to dishonest gain. {119:37} Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in your ways. {119:38} Establish Your Word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You.

 

 

Dan and Melissa David in Concert Nov. 9th!

danmelissaflyers

Dan and Melissa David in Concert Nov. 9th!

 

 

Hatred Destroys Lives – Toldot

Toldos

D’VAR TORAH

TOLDOT – GENERATIONS

BERESHIT (GENESIS) 25.19-28.9

 

Hatred Destroys Lives

”          Bereshit / Genesis 25:19-28:9

”          Shmuel Alef / 1 Samuel 20:18-42

”          Romim / Romans 9:1-13

 

 

Bereshit {27:41} Esav (Esau) hated Ya’akov (Jacob) because of the blessing with which his ‘ab (father) blessed him. Esav said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my ‘ab are at hand. Then I will kill my brother Ya’akov.” {27:42} The words of Esav, her elder son, were told to Rivkah (Rebecca). She sent and called Ya’akov her younger son, and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esav comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. {27:43} Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Lavan, my brother, in Charan. {27:44} Stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away; {27:45} until your brother’s anger turn away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send, and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?”

In this story of Esav and Ya’acov we can see the affects of hatred on a person’s life, as well as the affect it has on the life of the hated person.

We are told here that Esav hated Ya’acov. We know that Esav was the father of the Edomites. It was the Edomites who stood by and watched as the Assyrians attack and kill thousands in Yisrael (Israel) and who themselves lay in wait and killed those from Yisrael who were attempting to escape from the Assyrians. Sad when you consider that Esav and Ya’acov were blood brothers. They should have loved and respected each other and that love should have been passed down through the subsequent generations. Instead, because Esav hated Ya’acov, that hate was passed down and even exists between their generations to this very day.

But the affects of the hatred even runs deeper. Esav because of his hatred was estranged from his brother and eventually his family because of the pagan women he married. Eventually Esav left the faith of his forefather Avraham and fell into idolatry. Because deception leads to greater deception, over the centuries, the religion of Islam was born and as a result, the hatred between Jews and Muslims has multiplied.

However, Esav’s hatred did not only affect him and his generations it also affected Ya’acov and his generations. As a result of Esav’s hatred for his brother, Ya’acov had to run for his life. From that time on Ya’acov mistrusted Esav. This mistrust was revealed in Scripture when the two encountered each other while Ya’acov was fleeing from Laban. Ya’acov told Esav he would meet him in Seir but then proceed with his entourage in an opposite direction towards Succoth (Bereshit 33:13ff). So Esav’s hatred affected the life and the decisions Ya’acov made, after being reunited with his brother. Despite the fact that they seemed to have reconciled, Ya’acov still mistrusted his brother. This mistrust has been passed down through the generations of Ya’acov unto this very day.

Mattityahu (Matthew) {5:21} You have heard that it was said by them of old time, “You shall not murder; and whosoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment:” {5:22} But I say unto you, “That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…”

Let this story of Esav and Ya’acov, be a lesson for us all. Our hatred of anyone, will not only affect us and the person we hate but it will also affect both parties’ future generations.

Yochanan (John) {13:34} “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. {13:35} “By this all men will know that you are My talmidim (disciples), if you have love for one another.”

 

 

 

Testing Will Come- Chayei Sarah

Sara

D’VAR TORAH

CHAYEI SARAH – SARAH LIVED

BERESHIT (GENESIS) 23.1-25.18)

 

 

Testing Will Come

 

 

  • Bereshit / Genesis 23:1-25:18
  • Malachim Alef / 1 Kings 1:1-31
  • Korintim Alef / 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

 

 

Bereshit {24:1} Avraham (Abraham) was old, and well stricken in age. HaShem had blessed Avraham in all things. {24:2} Avraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please put your hand under my thigh. {24:3} I will make you swear by HaShem, the G-D of heaven and the G-D of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my ben(son) of the daughters of the Cana’anites, among whom I live. {24:4} But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Yitzchak (Isaac).”{24:5} The servant said to him, “What if the ishah (woman) is not willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?”{24:6} Avraham said to him, “Beware that you do not bring my son there again. {24:7} HaShem, the G-D of heaven, who took me from my ‘ab’s (father’s) house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. {24:8} If the ishah is not willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this my oath. Only you shall not bring my son there again.”

Without a doubt HaShem blesses us when we are obedient. HaShem told Avraham that he should not allow his son to intermarry with the pagan Canaanites’. So when looking for a wife for his son Yitzchak he made his servant vow that he would not take a wife for him from among the Canaanites’. He made him vow that he would go to relatives from where he was born and take Yitzchak a wife from there. In addition HaShem had told Avraham that he should never go back from where he came. So when asked by his servant what should be done if the girl he chooses will not return with him Avraham stayed faithful to HaShem’s command and had his servant vow never to bring Yitzchak back to that place.

I do not think it was by sheer luck that Avraham’s servant found a girl, had his prayer answered, found out that she was related of his master’s family and that she was willing to go to Yitzchak. HaShem blessed the trip. Let us face it; HaShem blessed those who are obedient.

I agree that it would have been easy for Avraham to resist taking a wife for Yitzchak from among the Canaanites’. They were a pagan society and a cursed nation. HaShem had promised Avraham their land so they were going to eventually be disposed. However, it would have been more difficult for Avraham to resist the second situation. When asked what if the girl his servant found would not return with him, Avraham without hesitation rejected that his son go back to where they came from. He knew that HaShem will be true to his promise so he would not allow his family to be removed from the land he was promised.

Avraham was faithful and because of his faithfulness HaShem blessed him and provided Yitzchak with the perfect wife.

I trust that we are all taking a lesson from this story because many of us second guess HaShem’s commands and at times go against them. I come across this most in the area of employment. When a person joins Congregation Melech Yisrael, having come from a church, most of the time they have a job which require them to work on the Shabbat. Once incorporated into the congregation and they understand the sanctity of the Shabbat, they ask me if they should quit their job. My answer is always for them to first pray and ask HaShem to put it upon their employer’s heart to release you from working on the Shabbat. HaShem knows our heart and if our desire is not to work on the Shabbat He will work it out. I have also come across those from within the congregation who have lost their job and are looking for work. It is very difficult to find employment that does not require you to work on Shabbat, especially for jobs that require shift work. It is easy to turn down prospective employers that require working on Shabbat if you have just started looking for work, however, as the week, and months pass with no prospect of finding a job that does not require having to work on the Shabbat, taking any job becomes a lot more tempting.

Avraham was tested; he made the correct choices; HaShem blessed him for it. We should not think that we are immune from G-d testing us.

Yaacov (James) {1:2} Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, (1:3} knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. {1:4} And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

I have seen many people give in and be disobedient to HaShem’s commandments. As a result they suffered for it both physically and spiritually. I have also seen many who suffered, at first, because they were obedient to G-d commandments only in the end to be blessed both physically and spiritually.

My prayer for you is that when your time of testing comes that you will not compromise and that you will remain obedient to HaShem.

 

Sukkah of Moshiach – Video


Do you think you really know what Chag HaSukkot (Holiday of Tabernacles) is all about?

Why do we observed Sukkot in the month of Tishrei when the Torah says that the Jews observed Sukkot in Nissan (Leviticus 23:42-43)? What is the purpose of dwelling in the Sukkah?

Furthermore, why in Zechariah 14:16-19, does the prophet say that the gentiles that do not ascend to Jerusalem for Sukkot will be plagued with a drought? Why should the Gentiles suffer a drought when Sukkot is a holiday commanded to the natives of Israel (Leviticus 23:42-43)?

If you think you know the mitzvah of Chag HaSukkot then think again! Listen as Rav Yehezqel of Kehilat Melech Yisrael in Toronto, Ontario explains the mystery of the Sukkah of Moshiach: The Tikkun of Dovid HaMelech

Makor Chaim: The Secret of Yom Kippur Part 2

Why out of all the Jewish holidays is Yom Kippur considered to be the holiest day of the year? If Rosh Hashanah is considered the Day of Judgment and the apex of Creation why do we celebrate it before Yom Kippur?

Why do we wear white when we fast on Yom Kippur when fasting in the Tanach is usually done wearing sackcloth?

Why does Chazal teach that the righteous and wicked are sealed on Rosh Hashanah but the benonim (middle people) are sealed on Yom Kippur (Bavli, Rosh Hashanah 16b)? And why does it appear that Chazal contradict themselves on this statement when later they say that judgment is decreed for all men of Rosh Hashanah and their fate is sealed on Yom Kippur?

Last but not lest, does man need the Moshiach as an intermediary in order for atonement to be effective on Yom Kippur?

Listen, as Rav Yehezqel of Kehilat Melech Yisrael in Toronto, Ontario teaches about the Makor Chaim: The Secret of Yom Kippur.

Makor Chaim: The Secret of Yom Kippur Part 1

Why out of all the Jewish holidays is Yom Kippur considered to be the holiest day of the year? If Rosh Hashanah is considered the Day of Judgment and the apex of Creation why do we celebrate it before Yom Kippur?

Why do we wear white when we fast on Yom Kippur when fasting in the Tanach is usually done wearing sackcloth?

Why does Chazal teach that the righteous and wicked are sealed on Rosh Hashanah but the benonim (middle people) are sealed on Yom Kippur (Bavli, Rosh Hashanah 16b)? And why does it appear that Chazal contradict themselves on this statement when later they say that judgment is decreed for all men of Rosh Hashanah and their fate is sealed on Yom Kippur?

Last but not lest, does man need the Moshiach as an intermediary in order for atonement to be effective on Yom Kippur?

Listen, as Rav Yehezqel of Kehilat Melech Yisrael in Toronto, Ontario teaches about the Makor Chaim: The Secret of Yom Kippur.

FREE Download: Parashah Bereshit

FREE Download: Parasha Bereshit!

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The Secret of Rosh Hashanah: The Shofar Gadol (The Great Shofar): Part 3 by: Rabbi Yehezqel

The Secret of Rosh Hashanah: The Shofar Gadol (The Great Shofar): Part 3 by: Rabbi Yehezqel

Why do we blow a Shofar on Rosh Hashanah?

As much as we think that we are familiar with Rosh Hashanah and the Shofar, the truth is we don’t have a clue about this Biblical holy day. Shrouded in mystery is the power of the Shofar and it’s connection to the beginning of man’s existence. Not only is the Shofar the origin of man’s existence but is also the spiritual weapon to man’s redemption.

Listen as Rabbi Yehezqel of Kehilat Melech Yisrael in Toronto, Ontario teach about the mystery of Rosh Hashanah and the Shofar Gadol.

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